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RUSH WIN BACK-AND-FORTH AFFAIR IN OT AGAINST WICHITA

Saturday, February 27th
RUSH WIN BACK-AND-FORTH AFFAIR IN OT AGAINST WICHITA

(WICHITA, KS) – Ian Edmondson hit pay-dirt 2:38 into overtime, and coupled with Stephen Baylis’ pair of goals and Hunter Garlent’s two points, capped off a 5-4 win for the Rapid City Rush over the Wichita Thunder on Friday night. The win kicks off a four-game-in-five day series head-to-head between the longtime adversaries.

It was a game of scoring runs for 60 minutes between the Thunder and Rush, ending with a 2-1 lead for the home side. Peter Crinella took advantage of an unfortunate sequence when a Rush defender fell, turning a two-on-two entry into a two-on-one break for the Thunder. Crinella buried a pass backdoor from Brayden Watts past Rush net-minder Adam Carlson, giving Wichita an early 1-0 lead at 6:40 of the first (Watts and Spencer Dorowicz assisted). Exactly 31 seconds later, the Rush had a three-on-two with a backdoor deflection thwarted, with Wichita immediately countering with a three-on-two of their own. Beau Starrett deflected his backdoor pass from Dean Stewart past Carlson to double the Thunder lead to 2-0 with 7:11 gone by in the opening period (Stewart and Matteo Gennaro assisted).  Ending the Thunder scoring rally and starting one for the Rush was Stephen Baylis on the first power play of the game for the visiting squad. With 3:47 left in the first, Baylis capitalized on an egregious turnover from Riley Weselowski, navigating to the high slot and rifling a shot through the five-hole of Evan Weninger to get the Rush on the board, trailing 2-1 (the goal was unassisted).

The Rush carried their momentum into the second period and eventually overtook Wichita. Jack Suter squared the game up with 8:19 left in the second period when he threw a puck on net from the far wall through net-front traffic and by Weninger, leveling the game at 2-2 (Tam had the lone assist).  Then Hunter Garlent stepped up and gave the Rush their first of the contest late in the frame. With 1:48 left, Garlent took a pass from Butrus Ghafari on the far wall, dangled by Gennaro, patiently navigated traffic, and slipped the puck by the outstretched glove of Weninger to push the Rush on top with a 3-2 lead (Andrew Sturtz and Butrus Ghafari assisted).

Baylis ignited the goal lamp again in the start of the final period, but Wichita countered to tie the game after 60 minutes. Baylis once again capitalized on a turnover, this time in the high slot, and fired a shot by Weninger to double the Rush lead to 4-2 just 52 seconds into the final period (Andrew Sturtz had the lone assist). Wichita then fired right back with a pair of goals, beginning with Crinella’s second of the game. On Wichita’s final power play of the game with 6:51 gone by in the third, Crinella, while fighting a defender, fired a shot from the left wing faceoff circle that whizzed by Carlson over his shoulder to cut the deficit to 4-3 (John Albert and Cam Clarke assisted). Moments later, Anthony Beauregard tied the game when he streaked towards the front of the Rush net unmarked. Stefan Fournier hit him with an east-west pass, and Beauregard tapped it home to square the game at 4-4 with 8:29 left in the game (Fournier and Jay Dickman assisted). Because neither team could find a game-winner in regulation, post-regulation play was necessary to determine a victor.

It took 2:38 of three-on-three overtime, but the Rush eventually came out victorious. After two Wichita skaters turned the puck over just inside the Rush blue line, the Rush went on a three-on-one break down the ice. A tic-tac-toe passing sequence began with Hunter Garlent, switched to Peter Quenneville, reverted back to Garlent, and ended with Ian Edmondson’s backdoor one-timer, giving the Rush the second point and the win by a 5-4 final score.

Adam Carlson stopped 26 of 30 shots on his net, earning the victory (5-4-1-0). Carlson has earned points in each of his last four starts for the Rush, winning three of them, dating back to January 6th vs Allen.

The Rush continue their seven-game road trip and four game-in five-day series against the Wichita Thunder. The second game, and rematch, is slated for 6:05 p.m. MDT puck drop from Wichita at INTRUST Bank Arena.

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